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the real ones, for Jaspar Colyton had very little neighbourly feeling of any sort, unless when it could be associated with some drinking bout or merry meeting. Even as a mere excursion of pleasure, for which he was at all times ready, he would hardly have thought of accompanying his own family on a visit to the Sheltons, but that, in conjunction with comical Kit, he had projected a notable scheme for amusing himself at the expense of his brother-in-law. Mapletoft, who was the kindest-hearted and most accommodating creature in existence, never made the smallest objection to any arrangement that was proposed, and as upon one or two former occasions he had exhibited himself upon horseback, although he was a bad equestrian, and disliked that mode of conveyance, there was no reason to conclude that he would hesitate about mounting Dumpling, a remarkably quiet horse who had derived his name from his sleekness and rotundity of form. Paul indeed was a stranger to fear, and would with perfect unconcern have mounted a Hippogriff or 'one of the flammiferous
horses of the sun, had such an animal been offered to him, so that he was not likely to have any misgiving with reference to Dumpling, whose back he had already crossed.
He was not aware, however, that the horse in question, though perfectly tractable without a crupper, became instantly possessed by a devil when this addition was made to his saddle, a circumstance from which the Squire anticipated no small fun and frolic when Paul should be mounted on his back. , Kit received instructions accordingly to affix the obnoxious strap, while the Squire reminding his kinsman that it became him to be somewhat smarter than usual on a visit of ceremony, brought him a pair of his own slouched boots, tendered him his silver spurs, and pinned to his button-hole a nosegay great and glorious enough for a Lord Mayor's coachman.
“Parce, puer, stimulis," exclaimed the scholar, rejecting the spurs — “ Goodnow, brother! Dumpling needs them not, and truly it is a cruel thing thus to urge a dumb beast, sævis
calcaribus, as the poet well expresses it. Howbeit, the boots are indispensable to a cavalier's equipment, and I will put them on."
This he had no sooner accomplished than the Squire, having preyiously fastened up the back of his broad brimmed hat into a spout, placed it upon Mapletoft's head, at the same time giving his long stiff pigtail an angular pinch, so that the last three or four inches of it pointed directly upwards to the sky. Having adjusted his spectacles to his nose, the scholar proceeded to mount, in effecting which his craggy knees escaped from his short nether garments, and the slouched boots, being much too large for him, presently fell to his ancles, so that he exhibited nearly the whole of his long spindle leg. The gaunt figure sitting bolt upright, the huge nosegay, the spout-shaped hat, the porrected pigtail, rearing itself up like an irritated snake, completed the grotesqueness of his appearance, and egregiously delighted the Squire.
“Hey, boys, hey-yoho!" shouted the latter, who never moved without a train of dogs at his
heels, and now summoned them first by blowing his silver whistle, and then by a metrical call, which he sung in a stentorian key, giving a loud halloo! at the end of each line,
Hey! Ponto, and Smiler, and Chanter, and Jowler,
The dogs thus summoned came barking and leaping around, while at the same time was heard a wailful howl from Keeper, who being too old for such an excursion, had been locked up, and seemed to forewarn his master, by this prophetic cry, that he quitted his customary guardian under sinister auspices.
“ Truly now, brother, I protest that I would have asked Becky to take poor Keeper in the phaeton,” said Mapletoft, “ had I thought of it; for this plaintive ululation appeals to one's
“ We have no time now,” cried the Squire,
so come along " "Tis sack makes us sing, Hey-down-a-down-ding-Paulo majora' canamus.' There's Latin for you, and I know you will follow that through fire and water--away we go !" · Up to this period Dumpling had not forfeited .bis established character for docility; but he was no sooner in motion, and sensible of the unusual appendage to his croup, than he began to wince and fidget, and curvet and caracole after a very portentous mood, at the same time accelerating his pace as if he could run away from the annoyance.
Nothing in the world but play,” exclaimed the Squire, hardly able from laughter to keep his own seat, when he saw the similar difficulty to which Paul was exposed.
Verily now, brother, I like not horse-play, seeing it is an animal to which we entrust our necks, and which cannot therefore be too sedate and serious. Soho, poor fellow! Dumpling is not at all like himself to-day, is he ?"